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Title: Indigenous justice struggles and reflexive democracy
Author: Elliott, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is concerned with the public sphere of justice in the contemporary internal colonial contexts of Australia and Canada. More specifically, it examines the way in which Indigenous actors are generally impeded from participating in public disputes of justice on equitable and self-determined terms. It develops and applies a position centred on the recent theoretical work of Nancy Fraser, and particularly her thinking around the concept of "abnormal justice". Fraser's reflections on the deeply contested nature of justice in contemporary times - and the accompanying absence of agreement and certainty about justice's most fundamental meaning and character - provide, I suggest, first, a valuable new framework for understanding the complexities that presently pervade public sphere shaped by colonial pasts and presents, and, second, the outline of a means for dealing with those complexities in more sensitive and productive ways. Accordingly, Part 1 of the thesis introduces and elaborates the 'diagnostic' side of Fraser's theorising, and applies it to the internal colonial contexts of Australia and Canada. The outcome is a deeper appreciation of the ways in which the experiences of injustice and aspirations for justice possessed by Indigenous actors are frequently obscured by the dominant (or 'normal') bounds of justice within these societies. Part 2, in turn, focuses on the 'reconstructive' side of Fraser's work and its potential to inform a progressive response to a meeting with abnormal justice in internal colonial contexts. I contend that the reflexive-democratic character of Fraser's thought provides the basis for a mode of politics through which Indigenous actors might begin to realise greater participatory parity in the terms of public disputes. Though, I reduce, the senses of injustice presently felt by Indigenous actors, it does at lease open up spaces by which they can being to participate more equitably in naming those injustices an authoring possibilities for overcoming them. The position thus defended is that a reflexive democratic politics can help in the task of dismantling obstacles to equitable Indigenous participation in ongoing public disputes. This, I contend, must represent an essential step in any effort to being to convincingly address the continuing and past violences of internal colonial contexts.
Supervisor: Owen, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General)